Tuesday was the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and unfortunately, little has changed. Our politicians continue to use 9/11 as a vehicle to further their own agenda.We can all remember seeing the World Trade Centers crashing down into a mountain of wreckage, the gaping hole in the side of the Pentagon, and the crater in Shanksville Pennsylvania left by United flight 93.
Unlike most Americans who were horror-struck and wanted answers, the Bush administration looked at the disaster as an opportunity for massive manipulation of the masses. Seventy-two days after Sept. 11, according to Bob Woodward speaking on 60 Minutes, President Bush told former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, “‘What have you got in terms of plans for Iraq? What is the status of the war plan? I want you to get on it. I want you to keep it secret.'”
Rumsfeld went directly to Gen. Tommy Franks with an open checkbook for war plans to invade Iraq, a nation that had no involvement in the terrorist attacks.
Bush used ground zero for a photo opportunity, standing on a heap of debris addressing fire fighters and rescue workers with a bullhorn. “I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon,” he said
And the photo opps began. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell addressed the United Nations Security Council. According to Democracy Now, “Powell also resorted to drama at times. At one point, he held up a vial filled with white power and said less than a teaspoon of dry anthrax shut down the US Senate in the fall of 2001. He referenced the 2001 anthrax attacks despite the fact there is no evidence Iraq had anything to do with it.”
Kuyodo News went further, quoting former U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter: “Iraq, anthrax, vial, dry powder – what connection do they have? None.”
Who can forget former National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice frightening the nation with “We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud” the line about Iraq and weapons of mass destruction?
The Bush Administration continued to beat into the minds of Americans that Iraq and Sept. 11 were somehow connected. On March 20, 2003, the unthinkable happened: The United States attacked a nation that had as much to do with Sept. 11 as the moon.
The staged events continued even after the bombs began falling. The world watched as U.S. Marines with the help of random Iraqis, toppled a U.S. flag draped statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad. According to the BBC, “Marines say that the U.S. flag-draped over Saddam Hussein’s statue was the flag that was flying over the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.”
Even as the Iraq, al Qaeda-Sept. 11 connection had been widely discredited-even by officials in the Bush administration- some, such as Vice President Dick Cheney would not let it die. “It goes back to the early ’90s. It involves a whole series of contacts, high-level contacts with Osama bin Laden and Iraqi intelligence officials,” he said.
On Labor Day last week, George W. Bush landed unannounced in Anbar Province, Iraq to address troops and to hype the “success” of the “troop surge,” the 30,000 additional troops sent to Iraq to control the spiraling violence.
“In Anbar you’re seeing first hand the dramatic differences that can come when the Iraqis are more secure,” Bush said to the crowd at the remote U.S. military base 10 miles from the Syrian border. “Anbar is a huge province. It was once written off as lost. It is now one of the safest places in Iraq,” he said.
The President’s statements contradict a congressional report released by the Governmental Accountability Office which said: “Violence remains high, the number of Iraqi security forces capable of conducting independent operations has declined and militias are not disarmed.”
After the nation heard the findings of Gen. David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker Monday, it should come as no surprise that Bush is already trying to spin the report in his favor: “Gen. Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker tell me if the kind of success were now seeing continues, it will be possible to maintain the same level of security with fewer forces,” he said.
According to the Washington Post, “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) objected to [an earlier] Pentagon proposal that they appear on Sept. 11.”
The administration continues to blur the line between Sept.11 and Iraq.